The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
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Sixteen men and women have been chosen by the queen of good things for a 12-week job interview, in which only one can be named president of one of his companies.

Who will Martha Stewart choose as his next Apprentice? Keep track at the Portfolio.

Recaps by Julie Suchard, GSNN

Host: Martha Stewart
Assistants: Charles Koppelman and Alexis Stewart
Creator: Mark Burnett (based upon "The Apprentice")
EP: Mark Burnett, Donald Trump, Jay Bienstock
Packager: Mark Burnett Productions, Trump Productions
Airs: Wednesdays at 9:00pm ET on NBC

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Don't Touch That Dial - November 9

Establishing shot of Manhattan at night:
Jim regales members of Matchstick with the details of the intense conference room discussions. They are all amazed that Sarah sent Jim back to the loft as the strongest person on the task. Howie and Bethenny return from the conference room, trashing the fired Sarah and Carrie.

Dawna confesses that she doesn’t understand Jim and Bethenny and do not know what kind of business skills they have. She says that they are crazy and says that she would not like to work with them. [I predict that they will work together on the next task.]

The applicants are summoned to Martha’s office the next morning. Martha is seen in a contrived meeting with Alexis and Charles poring over her magazine. Martha observes that the groups have shrunk in size to 5 and 3, so she plans on evening them out.

Martha comments that Primarius has a bad record and needs some help. She asks Matchstick which team member has the best record and surprise, surprise; Dawna raises her hand and switches teams. Martha asks her if it will be ok and Dawna smiles and says that it’s fine with her. [I am sure that she is thinking that she got screwed by the switch.] Martha then tells Bethenny that it will be her turn to lead Primarius.

Martha talks about how well Martha Stewart Everyday [A Kmart line of product] has done selling their “well-designed” line of outdoor products. So Martha will give each team 10 minutes on QVC to sell the outdoor product of their choice. The team with the most revenue wins. Martha tells the teams that she sold 50,000 books on QVC, so she knows from experience that you have to communicate, know the product and sell it to the widest possible audience.

Primarius rides a bus to the QVC headquarters. Bethenny talks about who would be the best host for the infomercials. The team agrees that Dawna and Howie are the most likeable and non-threatening members of the team, so they should be on camera. Dawna complains that the rest of the team is unprofessional.

Ryan steps up as project manager for Matchstick. As the group is talking about the type of product that they want, Amanda never shuts up, interrupting everyone who tries to make any kind of point. Ryan comments about her obnoxiousness and says that her attitude is something he is not ready to battle.

Martha talks about making a good sales pitch. She says that you have to know your product, know your customer; you have to know the tone you have to take and that is your pitch.
Marcela says that Matchstick needs to pick a product from the QVC warehouse, design a sales strategy and sell the product live on QVC for 10 minutes. Ryan chooses a teak automatic hose rewinder that is powered by water.

Howie says that Primarius debated between selling the portable air compressor and the foldaway hammock in a bag. Jim and Howie attempt to set up the hammock and realize that it’s a pain to set up. Once they finally set up the hammock, Howie tries to lay on it and it falls apart around him. The team wisely opts to sell the portable air compressor instead. This product inflates tires and balls [there is pent up demand for inflated balls.] The group decides to sell this product for $44.78. Bethenny worries about Dawna’s onscreen personality. Dawna says that she doesn’t like Bethenny’s leadership style because she is too frenetic and makes everyone in the group nervous.

Matchstick goes outdoors to the QVC set which consists of rolling lawns and a fake house. Ryan tells Leslie and Amanda that they will be the on-air personalities while Marcela will be responsible for decorating the set. Leslie will be the lead and while Amanda will be the demonstrator. Amanda complains that she could do a better job and will not let the issue die. Leslie offers to let Amanda be the lead, but Ryan says no, he wants Leslie.

At Primarius, the team does a dry run through. Bethenny says that Dawna did a great job, but that Howie was like a giant “pink elephant.” [Umm…Did you mean ‘white elephant’?] Howie does another run through and he flails on the job. Finally at 2:00 a.m. when they are practicing, the team loses patience with Howie’s inability to sell the product. Bethenny decides that Jim will sell the product on air, though she realizes that he has the capacity to do something really crazy.

The next day, Matchstick is on the set getting ready to film their commercial. Amanda is being argumentative with Leslie and Ryan demanding that she gets her way. Ryan decides that the shot will always follow Leslie, marginalizing Amanda during the commercial. Ryan thinks that if Leslie tells a story rather than trying to sell the product, the team will be successful.

Ryan notes that once the host started interacting with Leslie, the sales went up, but every time that Amanda was in the shot, the call volume went down. Ryan orders the camera to stay with Leslie, minimizing the time that Amanda is on-air.

Primarius gets ready for their commercial. Before the commercial, Howie is in the control booth flailing at his job of directing the commercial. To break tension [or because he is a manic freak] Jim starts leaning up against the van, which is being used as a backdrop and starts spanking himself. Dawna is obviously frustrated by his antics. Once the commercial starts, Jim does a really professional job and the sales start going up. Jim walks out of the shot, but Howie is unable to tell him to get back into camera range.

The applicants go to the conference room. Martha asks Bethenny how she liked being project manager for the first time. She says that it was great and the team worked together really well. Alexis says that Primarius sold 266 units at $44.78 for a total of $11,911.48. Bethenny says that her team satisfied every goal that they set for themselves. Matchstick sold 143 units for $99.97 for total gross revenues of $14,295.71. Matchstick wins. For their reward they will take a helicopter ride to Martha’s “beautiful house” [as if she would admit to having an ugly house] in East Egg, er, East Hampton. They will be bet by Kevin Sharkey, the decorating editor of Martha Stewart Living.

Primarius will return to the conference room, where one of them will be sent home. Bethenny says that she wants to call in sick the next day, because she doesn’t want to go in front of Martha. Howie is upset as well because he has always wanted to ride in a helicopter.

Matchstick is shown on their very special helicopter ride. After the helicopter touches down, the team takes a limo to Martha’s house. They are met by Kevin Sharkey, who takes them on a tour of the house. There is a giant stuffed carp over the fireplace and Kevin tells the group that Martha chose the colors within the house to match the carp and loves to collect Taxidermy, because she is a huge animal lover. He shows Matchstick the dining room where there is a
Venetian chandelier. The ceiling has been painted to match the chandelier…Kevin reveals that painted ceilings is one of Martha’s trademarks along with monochromatic interiors [and her monotone voice].

Primarius talks in the loft. Bethenny asks Dawna who she would get rid of. Dawna says that she can’t work for somebody like Bethenny because she is too hyper. She says that Bethenny’s energy isn’t focused and that she would rather work for somebody who is more organized. Dawna goes on to say that she is a polar opposite from Bethenny. Bethenny is hurt by Dawna’s comments. Jim says that he hopes that somebody trashes Dawna to Martha, though he thinks that Bethenny or Howie will be going home.

In the conference room, Martha asks Bethenny what happened. Bethenny says that no one person screwed up. Charles asks Dawna her opinion of Bethenny as a leader. Dawna says that she didn’t think too much of Bethenny’s leadership style. She personally looks to leaders to motivate and inspire and she thought that Bethenny did the opposite. She also says that she was shocked at how well she worked with Jim. Howie says that he thinks that the team picked the wrong product.

Martha says the Jim didn’t look good on camera, he interrupted Dawna and his face frequently wasn’t on camera. Jim reminds Martha that he jumped in at the last minute because Howie couldn’t do the job. Martha wants to know why Howie didn’t do the presentation. Bethenny says that she begged Howie to rehearse and he wouldn’t do it so she pulled him from the presentation.

Martha asks Bethenny who she would bring to the conference room. Bethenny says that Dawna has the best track record, so she shouldn’t have to come to the conference room, so Jim and Howie should go to the conference room. Outside, Bethenny apologizes to Jim for bringing him into the conference room. He says not to worry about it. While waiting, Bethenny, Howie and Jim trash Dawna for being a prima donna, but Howie says that it’s pointless to complain about her since she won’t be returning to the conference room.

Jim, Bethenny, and Howie return to the conference room. Martha wants to know why Bethenny couldn’t motivate her team. Bethenny says she doesn’t know, but that she gave 500% of herself on the tasks. [This is one of my pet peeves, how can you give more than 100% of yourself, if I had my own Apprentice show, I would fire her on the spot for her inability to grasp math.] Bethenny goes on to trash Dawna, but Charles says that Dawna isn’t in the room, so she shouldn’t waste their time talking about Dawna. Howie says that Bethenny should have done a dry run of the sales pitch to see who was best suited for it. Bethenny argues back that Howie almost demanded to do the pitch and then wouldn’t rehearse or learn anything about the product. Bethenny and Howie argue incessantly about who was to blame.

Martha says that Howie didn’t step up to the plate to do a good sales pitch. Martha comments that Bethenny recognizes her own faults. Bethenny says that she would give Martha “blood, sweat and tears” and would work hard for Martha. Martha says that her leadership skills are lacking but she likes her determination. Martha says that Howie just isn’t passionate enough for her company and says goodbye.

Outside the room Bethenny is upset and apologizes to Howie, going as far to tell him that she loves him. Inside the conference room, Alexis, who has an opinion for a change, says that Howie isn’t a risk taker. Martha says that he doesn’t have a competitive spirit. Alexis says that he wants to compete when he know that he will win. Martha writes her letter to Howie, which can be seen here:

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